"I'm Bill Clinton and I think you deserve a change. That's why I've offered a plan to get the economy moving again, starting with a middle-class tax cut..."
--Bill Clinton campaign commercial, 1/16/92
"I want to make it very clear that this middle class tax cut, in my view, is central to any attempt we're going to make to have a short-term economic strategy and a longterm fairness strategy which is part of getting this country going again."
--Bill Clinton, New Hampshire primary debate, 1/19/92
"From New Hampshire forward, for reasons that absolutely mystified me, the press thought the most important issue in the race was the middle class tax cut"
--President-elect Bill Clinton, news conference, 1/14/93
"...I will tell you this: I will not raise taxes on the middle-class to pay for these programs."
--Bill Clinton, presidential debate, 10/19/92
"To middle-class Americans who have paid a great deal over the last 12 years and from whom I ask a contribution tonight..."
--Bill Clinton, announcing the largest tax increase in history, State of the Union address, 2/17/93
"Probably there are people in this room still mad at me at that budget because you think I raised your taxes too much. It might surprise you to know that I think I raised them too much too."
--Bill Clinton, remarks at Houston fund- raiser, 10/17/95
"I take full responsibility, proudly, for what we did. It [raising taxes] was the right thing to do."
--Bill Clinton, press conference, 10/19/95
(Taken from the GOP Talking Points from January 31, 1996.)
"[W]hen I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it. I didn't inhale."
--Candidate Bill Clinton (The New York Times, 3/30/92)
IN HIS OWN WORDS Broken Promises From the President 1. MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUT: "I believe you deserve more than 30-second ads or vague promises. That's why I've offered a comprehensive plan to get our economy moving again. It starts with a tax cut for the middle class and asks the rich to pay their fair share again." Clinton's first campaign ad, January 1992. "We will lower the tax burden on middle class Americans by asking the very wealthy to pay their fair share. Middle class taxpayers will have a choice between a children's tax credit or a significant reduction in their income tax rate." Putting People First, September 1992. "I will not raise taxes on the middle class to pay for these programs. If the money does not come in there to pay for these programs, we will cut other government spending or we will slow down the phase-in of these programs. I am not gonna raise taxes on the middle class to pay for these programs." October 19, 1992. "From New Hampshire forward, for reasons that absolutely mystified me, the press thought the most important issue in the race was the middle class tax cut. I never did meet any voter who thought that." January 14, 1993. "To middle class Americans who have paid a great deal for the last 12 years and from whom I ask a contribution tonight..." February 17, 1993. 2. TAX BURDEN: "You know what my plan is, to raise taxes on people whose incomes are above $200,000..." July 13, 1992. The new 36 percent Clinton tax rate takes effect on couples earning more than $140,000 and individuals making more than $115,000. P.L. 103-66, Clinton's Tax and Spend Plan. 3. ELIMINATING THE DEFICIT: "I would present a five-year plan to balance the budget." June 4, 1992. "This budget plan, by contrast, will by 1997 cut $140 billion in that year alone from the deficit." February 17, 1993. 4. CUTTING THE DEFICIT IN HALF: "The plan not only pays for every penny in new investment with new savings but -- even with modest growth estimates -- will cut the deficit in half by 1996." Putting People First, September 1992. Deficit, assuming baseline economics, FY 1997: $214 billion. Deficit, assuming Administration economics, FY 1997: $181 billion. Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 1994, p. 2. 5. SIZE OF THE DEFICIT: "I can't [avoid raising taxes on the middle class] because the deficit has increased so much, beyond my earlier estimates..." February 17, 1993. "[S]enior Administration officials, including Bentsen and Panetta, concede that the professed shock at higher deficit estimates issued after the election was largely feigned. Moreover, the new Clinton team issued initial budget projections soon after taking office that put absolutely the worst face possible on the deficit outlook, manipulating data to reinforce the impression that Bush had left Clinton with a fiscal nightmare." Los Angeles Times, April 24, 1994, p. D1. 6. GAS TAX: "Oppose federal excise gas tax increases. Instead of a backbreaking federal gas tax, we should try conservation, increased use of natural gas, and increased use of alternative fuels." Putting People First, September 1992. "I think -- you know, raising taxes on Social Security recipients or middle class people, the fifty-cent [Perot] gas tax and all these tax increases when the economy is not growing is an error." October 23, 1992. After President Clinton realized he could not gain enough support for his proposed Btu tax (which would have, among other things, imposed a tax of about 7.5 cents per gallon for gasoline and 8.3 cents per gallon for diesel), he had to accept a smaller tax that was agreed to in the Senate and passed by Congress: a 4.3-cents-per-gallon motor fuels tax. The law also extends a 2.5-cent gas tax set to expire in 1995. P.L. 103-66, Clinton's Tax and Spend Plan. 7. CORPORATE TAX RATES: "I don't think we should raise corporate tax rates, [but I think we should give corporations more incentives to invest in this country]." July 13, 1992. President Clinton's original plan would have raised the top marginal rate for corporate income taxes to 36 percent, but Congress would only agree to raise it to 35 percent (the current rate is 34 percent). P.L. 103-66, Clinton's Tax and Spend Plan. 8. WELFARE REFORM: "[W]e need real welfare reform.... I recommend, number one, that you require people to take jobs." May 6, 1992. "And I have a plan to do even better, to end welfare as we know it . . ." August 12, 1992. "The Clinton plan gives welfare recipients two years of benefits before any work requirement is imposed, and imposes time limits and work requirements on only about 20% of recipients. Under the Clinton plan, after two years of welfare checks, recipients could be indefinitely supported by a government-subsidized paycheck." Bob Dole News Release, June 14, 1994. 9. CHINA MFN: "We will condition favorable trade terms with repressive regimes--such as China's Communist regime--on respect for human rights, political liberalization, and responsible international conduct." Putting People First, September 1992. "We will link China's trading privileges to its human rights record and its conduct on trade and weapon sales." August 13, 1992. "I am moving, therefore, to delink human rights from the annual extension of most-favored nation trading status for China." May 26, 1994. 10. HAITIAN REFUGEES: "I am appalled by the decision of the Bush administration to pick up fleeing Haitians on the high seas and forcibly return them to Haiti before considering their claim to political asylum.... If I were President, I would -- in the absence of clear and compelling evidence that they weren't political refugees -- give them temporary asylum until we restored the elected government of Haiti." May 27, 1992. "For Haitians who do seek to leave Haiti, boat departure is a terrible and dangerous choice.... For this reason, the practice of returning those who fled Haiti by boat will continue, for the time being, after I become President. Those who do leave Haiti...by boat will be stopped and directly returned by the United States Coast Guard." January 14, 1993. 11. MILITARY ACTION IN HAITI: "I have no intention of asking our young people in uniform...to go in there to do anything other than implement a peace agreement..." October 13, 1993. "...I think that we cannot afford to discount the prospect of a military option [in Haiti]." May 3, 1994. 12. BOSNIA: "We will make the U.S. the catalyst for a collective stand against aggression, the action I have urged in response to Serbian aggression in Bosnia . . ." August 13, 1992. "I think we should act. We should lead. The United States should lead." April 23, 1993. "I cannot unilaterally lift the arms embargo [on Bosnia].... Our allies decided that they weren't prepared to go that far this time." June 15, 1993. "The United Nations controls what happens in Bosnia." June 15, 1993. 13. MISSION IN SOMALIA: "The ultimate goal is to make sure that the United Nations can fulfill its mission there and continue to work with the Somalis toward nation building." June 16, 1993. "The U.S. military mission is not now nor was it ever one of `nation building.'" October 13, 1993. 14. SOCIAL SECURITY: "...we're also overtaxing it [Social Security] today by about $65 billion to $70 billion to make our deficit look smaller. So I think the last thing we want to do is to divide the American people against one another again by carving up Social Security." December 22, 1991. "I think -- you know, raising taxes on Social Security recipients or middle class people, the fifty-cent [Perot] gas tax and all these tax increases when the economy is not growing is an error." October 23, 1992. Clinton's original plan taxed 85 percent (rather than the current 50 percent) of Social Security benefits for couples earning more than $32,000 and individuals earning more than $25,000. However, that was too much even for Congress to handle, so during conference the threshold was raised to $44,000 for couples and $34,000 for individuals. P.L. 103-66, Clinton's Tax and Spend Plan. 15. MINDLESS SPENDING: "This country doesn't need a new program for every problem, and we won't get change simply by spending more on programs already on the books." April 16, 1992. "In spending, the stimulus program provides additional budget authority equal to $16.3 billion." A Vision of Change for America, February 17, 1993. 16. GOVERNMENT REFORM: "It's long past time to clean up Washington. The last twelve years were nothing less than an extended hunting season for high-priced lobbyists and Washington influence peddlers. On streets where statesmen once strolled, a never-ending stream of money now changes hands -- tying the hands of those elected to lead." Putting People First, September 1992. "Inside Schmoozers Line Up...Three of Clinton's top appointments were lobbyists: Commerce Secretary Ron Brown...U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor...and Veterans' Affairs Director Jesse Brown." Cleveland Plain-Dealer, February 8, 1993, p. 1A. "But in a recognition of the fact that lobbyists constitute a fertile source of fund-raising, Clinton will accept contributions [to his legal defense fund] of up to $1,000 annually from the Washington lobbyists whose activities he decried during the campaign and since taking office." Washington Post, June 29, 1994, p. A1. 17. 50 PERCENT QUOTA FOR CABINET WOMEN: "I wouldn't restrict myself to having just half the Cabinet be women. I might want more." February 29, 1992. Currently, 3 out of 14 Cabinet members are women, or 21 percent. If the EPA becomes a cabinet department, the number will increase to 4 of 15, or 26 percent. If the UN Ambassador is counted, then just 31 percent of the Cabinet is female (5 out of 16). Information as of November 19, 1993. 18. 25 PERCENT WHITE HOUSE STAFF CUTS: "We will reduce the White House staff by 25 percent..." Putting People First, September 1992. "What the cuts [to White House staff] have become, instead, is a struggle to make the numbers come out right, a study in creative definitions of what constitutes the White House staff, and a flurry of pink slips sent to career workers...Figures provided by the White House...show increases in spending on the White House office staff, the vice president's staff, the Office of Administration, the Domestic policy office and the National Security Council...The Office of Management and Budget and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, show slight increases as well. Where the major saving occurs is in the Office of National Drug Control Policy, where $76 million in its `forfeiture fund' has been reduced to $28 million, and staff--all career workers in the anti-drug field--has been reduced from 112 to 25 for a total savings of nearly $60 million." Washington Post, September 30, 1993, p. A1. 19. LINE ITEM VETO: "To eliminate pork-barrel projects and cut government waste, we will ask Congress to give the President the line item veto." Putting People First, September 1992. To date, the administration has sent no line-item veto proposal to Congress. July 1, 1994. 20. DRUG WAR: "[President Bush] hasn't fought a real war on crime and drugs. I will." July 16, 1992. "I never thought I'd miss Nancy Reagan. There can't be a rating [on the Clinton drug policy] when there hasn't been a performance." Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), April 24, 1993. Clinton reduced funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (drug czar) to $5.8 million (FY 1993 funding level was $103 million). Budget of the United States Government for FY 1994, p. A-222. 21. PRIVACY ACT VIOLATIONS: "If I catch anybody using the State Department like that [searching files] when I'm president, you won't have to wait till after the election to see them gone...I just want you to know that the State Department of this country is not going to be fooling with Bill Clinton's politics, and if I catch anybody doing it I will fire them the next day; you won't have to have an inquiry or rigmarole or anything else..." November 12, 1992. "The State Department's inspector general has been asked to investigate whether the Privacy Act may have been violated when information from personnel files of former Bush administration political appointees at the department was examined and disseminated...personnel folders of two former Bush officials, Jennifer Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Tamposi, had been reviewed." Washington Post, September 3, 1993, p. A1. Secretary of State Warren Christopher "fired two lower-level State department political employees for their involvement in the retrieval and disclosure in September of information from Bush administration personnel files...." Friday, November 10, 69 days after their actions were first reported. Washington Post, November 11, p. A10. 22. TOUGH ON CRIME: "We need to put...more criminals behind bars." Putting People First, September 1992. "Reduce prison construction. Cut $580 million from FY 1994-98." A Vision of Change for America, February 17, 1993, p. 123. "New [prison] Construction: FY 1993 estimate: $771.8 million; FY 1994 estimate: $501.7 million." Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 1994, Appendix-777. 23. 100,000 NEW POLICE OFFICERS: "Fight crime by putting 100,000 new police officers on the streets." Putting People First, September 1992. "Clinton Crime Plan Falls Far Short on Cops: Bill Clinton campaigned for president promising to put 100,000 more police on the nation's streets by 1996, but the crime package he sent to Congress calls for only half that number. What's more, Clinton's package authorizes $3.4 billion for more cops over a six-year period, or $650 million per year beginning next year. That's enough to pay the salaries of only 13,000 police at the average national cost in salary and benefits of $50,000 per year, and even less in big cities where costs are higher--and crime is at its worst." Roll Call, October 7, 1993, p. 11. 24. RADIO FREE EUROPE: "We should build on the success of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and expand our successful surrogate broadcasting." October 1, 1992. "The Budget reflects the President's decision to consolidate U.S. international broadcasting and achieve significant savings by eliminating administrative overlap and duplication...In the past, this account provided funds for the construction of a new radio relay station in Israel. The Administration has decided to cancel this project in 1993." Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 1994, Appendix-1042. 25. BUYING MORE NATIONAL PARK LAND: "Expand our efforts to acquire new parklands and recreational sites with funds already available." Putting People First, September 1992. "Clinton Backs Off Campaign Promise to Purchase More Park Land...Clinton's proposed 1994 budget released today seeks $208 million for land acquisition, down from the $366 million President Bush sought last year." Associated Press, April 8, 1993. 26. 100 DAYS: "I intend to have a legislative program ready on the desk of Congress on the day after I'm inaugurated. I intend to have an explosive 100-day action period." June 23, 1992. "People of the press are expecting [us] to have some 100-day program. We never ever had one." Dee Dee Myers, January 12, 1993. 27. GOVERNMENT MANDATES: " I am going to stop handing down mandates to you and regulating you to death." June 22, 1992. Instead of following through on promises of fewer federal mandates and regulations, President Clinton on January 22 abolished the Competitiveness Council, whose regulatory reform efforts promised to yield more than $20 billion in annual savings and save or create an estimated 200,000 jobs. President Clinton signed into law the Family Medical Leave Act and the Motor Voter bill, both which impose huge mandates, the first on small businesses, the second on state governments. The Clinton health care proposal would impose sweeping new mandates.